By WHITNEY FENZEL
As the number of students at the MU continues to grow, so do the Columbia housing options.
On Sept. 20, the Columbia City Council approved the rezoning of a 5.49 acre lot on Rock Quarry Road between Sun Court and Nifong Boulevard, which will be known as The Pointe at Rock Quarry Park.
Rock Quarry Properties, LLC, proposed the plan on Aug. 12.
There is one house located on this property. It is classified as a “land in limits” property, which means that it is not part of a subdivided lot. It is just a survey that describes the distances between property corners and direction of property lines.
The property must be developed into a “legal lot” before any construction or changes can be made to the land. “(The) main advantage in this case is that it creates easements so if any public utilities are extended in the future they can do this legally without having to acquire easements from the property owner,” said Tim Teddy, director of the planning and development department. He added that it also provides a more reliable description of property boundaries.
Rezoning of the land allows for 40 townhomes to be built. The preliminary plan is to build five buildings with eight units in each.
Columbia residents have voiced concern that development of the proposed lot will create backups on Grindstone Parkway. “I think it’s just a matter of a few moments when traffic is busiest … I don’t think that would be a condition of the traffic congestion that would last very long,” Teddy said.
The new site will be primarily housing for students, and Teddy suggested that the schedules of students and current residents of the area would be different, lessening the chance of heavy traffic congestion.
A public bus shelter, coordinated through the Public Works department, is also in the works for the convenience of future residents. “Students and other people living at this development would have the option of taking the public bus to campus,” said Teddy. Since the bus currently has a route down Rock Quarry Road, this additional stop would be convenient for bus operators as well. The buses would only serve MU as part of the black and gold bus route and would have limited service, only running Monday to Friday.
The construction plan includes a public sidewalk that will connect Rock Quarry Park to Rock Quarry Road.
All additions and utilities in connection with the development of The Point at Rock Quarry Park must be completed within 36 months of the City Council’s approval in March 2011.